This is Celia C. Tillman, bringing you greetings and encouragement from the Honey-Comb of Praises. Our lesson for today is TRUE LOVE. Ladies when I think of true love, my mind takes me back to the scripture in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Yes, God promised a life of being with him forever where there will be no more dying, no more pain, and tears, Revelation 21:1-4; when this body, (physical) is “dissolved, we have a building not made with hands,” II Corinthians 5:1.
God was so wonderful and merciful that he saved all of us from death row, and gave us a second chance at life, because we were all on our way to a world of no return (Hell). However, this loving God had pity on us all by sending his Son, Jesus Christ to die on earth, while we were yet sinners, Roman 5:8; he purchased us with his blood, Acts 20:28. Some may ask the question, “Well, what did man do so outstanding to merit or earn such a wonderful gift?” Man did absolutely nothing, it was the Grace of God, which is unearned, unmerited favor, and goodwill extended to all mankind, Titus 2:11. However, the Bible teaches that, “For by grace are ye saved through faith, but not of ourselves but it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast,” Ephesians, 2:8-9.
Ladies, every time I read Isaiah the 53rd chapter it is so electrifying to me that I am filled with tears. This account of Christ’s life demonstrated what true love is all about. He was rejected of evil men who didn’t want to hear the good things that he brought from his Father in heaven; he was a man of sorrow, because he came to his own people and they received him not.
They accused him of setting up an earthly kingdom, but he said, “My kingdom is not this world,” John 18:36. He was wounded and bruised for our sin, and with his stripes we are healed. All of us, as like sheep, have wandered away and have turned others away but the Lord had sent Christ to bare all of our sins. He was painfully abused, but he did not complain. He was silent like a lamb being led to the slaughter, and as sheep before her shearers (one who cuts the hair off a sheep), yet he open not his mouth.
He was condemned to death, but listen ladies, he saved us from death row how wonderful is that? It was some awesome, because none of us were worthy to die in our own stead, (position, place of another). And to make matters worse, he didn’t even have a fair trial. His life was taken away from him, because of sinful men. Jesus wasn’t dishonest or violent, but he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich. The Prophet Isaiah, who lived 700 years before the birth of Christ, gave us a wonderful and unique description of the suffering and death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The suffering that he went through for mankind was to please his Father. Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends, John 15:13-14. We are Jesus’ friend if we obey him. When we are obedient to his word, then we will submit to his terms and not our own selfish will.
Ladies, God’s love extends far and beyond man’s perception of love. He was willing to send his only Son down to earth and dwell among mankind, in the flesh; man beheld his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth, John. 1:14. Jesus was with his Father in heaven, from the beginning, John 1:1,
However, God was so kind to send him to earth in the form of human flesh and lived among sinful men. Jesus was the true light that shineth in darkness and the world didn’t understand him, John 1:5. However, for those who did, he gave them power to become the sons of God, even to those who believe on his name, John 1:12.
We can go back as far as the Garden of Eden, and see the love of God for man, when he created them in his own image and likeness, the part of man that can make choices, (male and female), Genesis 1:27. In the Garden of Eden, the love of God was demonstrated by making trees to grow for food that was pleasant to the sight and the knowledge of good and evil were in the midst of the garden, Genesis 2:9. God gave this home to the first man and woman who were called Adam and Eve. Man was God’s creation, and he loved them and gave them the best of life. He also gave them a law to live by: (1) He told them both to be fruitful and multiply the earth, (2) and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and the birds of the air and every living thing that move upon the earth, Genesis 1:28-29; (3) they were given specific instruction not to eat of the tree of good and evil, and if they did they would surely die, Genesis 2:17, and Genesis 3:2-3. Adam and Eve disobeyed God and listen to the Serpent (Satan) and ate of the fruit that was in the midst of the garden. The first man and woman were evicted out of their beautiful home, Genesis 3:1-24.
Ladies, we know that through Adam we all died, but through Christ we are all made alive, I Corinthian 15:22; Ephesians 1:6-7, Paul said, “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”
As Christians today, how do we show love to God? We show love to God by following in his footsteps, in teaching the lost about how Christ died, and gave his life on the cross for mankind, and being good examples ourselves, showing the world that Christ lives within us. We also show love by being kind hearted to our brothers and sisters in Christ,” for love is of God; everyone that loveth is born of God, knoweth God,” I John 4:7.
Ladies, love is action as well as emotions, as the Apostle John said, “Dear children, let us not love with words, or tongue but with deed and in truth,” I John 3:18. When we love the way the Bible teaches, however, there will be no doubt in the mind of the world of whose children we are spiritually. Love is a way of life for the Saints of God. There are many ways that we as Christians can show love one to the other: (1) lend a listening ear to someone who are troubled, (2) when giving spiritual advise, be careful not to give your own opinion, but thus says the Lord, (3) Give the person respect, and let them express themselves first, (4) don’t be a show off with the word of God, (showing how much you know, and not putting emphasis on the word of God. Ladies, true love is kind, keep no record of wrong, it is polite, trustworthy, hopeful and it is patience (suffer long), it is not puffed up or proud, it is not self-seeking, or jealous or envious but it rejoice in the truth, I Corinthians, 13:1-13. Jesus was the greatest love story that was ever told. He was courageous, in that he died for the sins of the whole world, because this was the will of his Father, and the
Love that he had for him. Jesus said, “O my Father, if it be possible let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt,” Matthew 26:39. Ladies, if you feel like me, you are so glad that Jesus loved you, and was willing to give his life that you may have a right to salvation. We heard the love story, ( Acts 2:22-36; Roman 10:17) and we believed it, (Hebrew 11:6); we turned from our sins,(Acts 17:30) and confessed Christ before men, ( Roman 10:9-10), and went down in the watery grave of baptism, (Acts 22:16; Mark 16:16), and we all should continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
(1). How did God love the world? Explain, and give scripture. _______________________________.
(2) Before Christ died upon the cross, where was man headed? _____________________________.
(3) Where can we find the scripture that said, “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us”___________.
(4) What Old Testament book can we find the sum total of Jesus’ suffering? _______________________.
(5) How many years were there between the time of Isaiah and the birth of Christ? __________________
(6) In what form did Christ first come to the earth? ____________________________.
(7) Was Christ kingdom of this world? Explain and give scripture_______________________________-
(8) Who did Christ come to please?___________________________________________________.
(9) Whose image was man created in? Explain and give scripture._____________________________.
(10) Fill in the blank, Love is ________________, as well as_________________________________.